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Global Task Force calls for consistent standard of care guidelines for treating adults with cochlear implants


Sydney, Australia – 25 February 2022:

The formation of a new global Task Force was announced this week, marking the next step in the creation of ‘Living Guidelines’ to set the standard of care for adult cochlear implantation (CI).

The Task Force aims to create a consistent global standard of care for adults with severe to profound hearing loss, to access referral pathways and treatment with cochlear implants. Currently only 5% of those who may benefit from a cochlear implant receive one, often due to lack of clear guidelines amongst medical professionals.1

This independent Task Force consists of cochlear implant users and key hearing experts from surgical and audiology backgrounds, representing more than 22 countries. The Task Force will engage with the Cochlear Implant International Community of Action (CIICA), representing cochlear implant users, other consumer organisations and professional societies to ensure the perspectives of adults with hearing loss are included in the process.

The project goal is to create global living practice guidelines and guidance that can be adapted and adopted in country, to optimise the standard of care for adults eligible for CI. As ‘living’ guidelines, they can be updated continuously as new evidence becomes available, as a real-time repository of guidelines under the governance of the Task Force.

In 2021 The WHO World Report on Hearing called for an overall 20% increase in the effective coverage of adults with hearing loss that use hearing aids and cochlear implants.2 These living guidelines, and the work of the Task Force, will build on existing evidence including the systematic literature search conducted for the International Consensus Paper1 on the use of cochlear implants as the minimum standard of care for adults with bilateral severe, profound, or moderate sloping to profound hearing loss, published in JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery in 2020.

Leo De Raeve, Task Force Co-Chair, made the following comment: ‘This initiative to create living practice guidelines for CI is significant because it involves key stakeholders from subject matter experts to CI Users across the globe. They will contribute to and support the effective development and dissemination of a set of accurate, consistent guidelines. These practice guidelines can be adapted and adopted in any country, to optimise the care for adults eligible for CI.’

The process is supported by Health Technology Analysts, an independent healthcare consultancy, who will coordinate the Task Force and provide technical expertise to facilitate the development of the guidance and guidelines.

To view more information on the Living Guidelines Project, including methodology and objectives, click here.

About the Task Force and CIICA

Cochlear Implant International Community of Action (CIICA) is an exciting new global community of cochlear implant user and family advocacy groups and individuals who support a shared vision of closing the global access gap in cochlear implant provision and ensuring lifelong support for all who could benefit. The community of organisations and individuals value the opportunity for a new way of working for cochlear implant advocacy groups and the opportunity to make a difference. Working together, the aim is to make CIICA a shared and trusted space for collaboration to strengthen users, including children and young people, in advocacy work.  CIICA currently has 75 organisations and over 350 individuals from 48 countries.

The Task Force is guided by three Co-Chairs:

Meredith A. Holcomb, AuD, CCC-A
Director, Hearing Implant Program, Associate Professor Department of Otolaryngology, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Ear Institute.

Leo De Raeve, PhD
Acting Chair of CIICA (Cochlear Implant International Community of Action), Scientific Advisor EURO-CIU, Director of ONICI.

Ángel Ramos Macías, MD
Professor, University of Las Palmas. School of Medicine, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and Maxillofacial.

The Chairs are supported by Task Force Members comprised of an additional 45 experts in the field of cochlear implant use, including audiologists and ear, nose and throat specialists from 22 countries.

Shakeel Saeed1, Timo Stöver2, Åsa Skagerstrand3, Domenico Cuda4, Bernard Fraysse5, Michal Luntz6, Laura Turton7, Ulrich Hoppe8, Darja Pajk9, Stefano Berrettini10, Lise Hamlin11, Natalie Morog12, Oliver Adunka13, Sarah Sydlowski14, Matthew Carlson15, Regina Presley16, Craig Buchman17, Maura Cosetti18, Paul Mick19, Alicia Spoor20, Richard Gurgel21, Erin Miller22, Alejandra Ullauri23, Jennifer Maw24, Esther Ximena Vivas25, Alejandro Rivas Campo26, Tatsuya Yamasoba27, Hao-WU28, Catherine McMahon29, Holly Teagle30, Cathy Birman31, Claire Iseli32, Katie Neal33, Peter Wolnizer34, Hen Wai Yuen35, Seung Ha OH36, Bamini Gopinath37, Nina Quinn38, Jenny Loo39, Neelam Vaid40, Mohan Kameswaran41, Pádraig Kitterick42, Frederico Alberto Di Lella43, Ricardo Bento44, Hamid Benghalem45

1Professor of Otology/Neuro-otology, Consultant ENT and Skullbase Surgeon at University College London, U.K. 2 CI ENT, Director ENT Department, Frankfurt University Hospital, Frankfurt, Germany. 3 PhD, Audiologist and Researcher, Audiological Research Centre, Örebro University Hospital, Sweden.4 Director of ENT Department and CI Program, Piacenza and President of the Italian Society of Otolaryngology, Italy,5 President of the World ENT Society(IFOS), France, 6Professor of Otology, Director of Ear and Hearing Center, Tel Aviv, Israel, 7Adult Audiology Rehabilitation Team Leader at NHS, Tayside, U.K. 8 Professor of Audiology, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University Hospital Erlangen, Germany, 9Representative of European Federation of Hard of Hearing People, member of CIICA, CI user, 10Head of  ENT, Audiology and Phoniatrics unit of the University Hospital of Pisa, Italy,11Director of Public Policy at Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), 12Department of Surgery University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon SK Canada, 13Director Otology, Neurotology and Cranial Base Surgery Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Professor at Ohio State University, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, USA, 14 Associate Chief Improvement Officer and Audiology Director of the Hearing Implant Program, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 15Mayo Clinic Consultant, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA,16Senior Cochlear Implant Audiologist at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, USA, 17Head, Department of Otolaryngology at Washington University, St. Louis, USA, 18Director Ear Institute and Associate Professor Otology/Neurotology, New York Eye and Ear Of Mount Sinai, New York, USA, 19Assistant Professor Pediatric Otolaryngology, Surgical Director for the Neurotology and CI Programs, Saskatchewan Health Authority, Canada, 20Designer Audiology 21Associate Professor, Neurotology – Skull Base Surgery, University of Utah Health, USA, 22Professor of Instruction & NOAC Coordinator, The University of Akron, USA, 23Director Chicago Hearing Care, USA, 24Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Ear Associates and Rehabilitation Services (EARS) Inc, San Jose, USA, 25Associate Professor, Neurotology, Otolaryngology, Otology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, USA, 26Director of the CI. Division Chief of Otology and Neurotology at Cleveland OH, University Hospitals. USA, 27Professor and Chairman, Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery at University of Tokyo, Japan, 28Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, China, 29Professor of Audiology, Head of Department, Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, 30Associate Professor, University of Auckland, Clinical Director, The Hearing House, New Zealand, 31Clinical Professor, Medical Director of NextSense Cochlear Implant Program, Sydney, Australia, 32Department Otolaryngology, Royal Children’s Hospital, Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, 33Principal, Research and Audiology Learning and Development, The Shepherd Centre, Sydney, Australia, 34Former Dean of Economics and Business at Sydney University, Australia, 35Senior Consultant, Changi General Hospital, Singapore, 36Professor Otolaryngology, Seoul National University, Sth. Korea, 37Cochlear Chair in Hearing and Health and Professor at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, 38CEO Neurosensory, Australia, 39Senior Principal audiologist, National University Hospital, Singapore, 40Head of the Cochlear Implant Programme and BIG EARS, the Audiology and Speech Pathology Department at KEM, India, 41Hospital Managing Director & Senior Consultant, Madras ENT Research Foundation Ltd, India, 42Head of Audiological Science, National Acoustic Laboratories, Sydney, Australia, 43Head of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Italian Hospital of Buenos Aires, 44Professor and Chairman, Otolaryngologic Department of Otorhinolaryngology at the Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, Brazil. 45 Executive Board member of International Federation of ORL Societies (IFOS), Morocco.


  1. Buchman et al. Unilateral Cochlear Implants for Bilateral Severe, Profound, or Moderate Sloping to Profound Sensorineural Hearing Loss: A Systematic Review and Consensus. JAMA Otolaryngology 2020;
  2. WHO World Report on Hearing (WRH)
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